Las Vegas, NV - Over 40 Asian American students, activists and community leaders from around the country, including actress Kelly Hu (X-Men 2), Yul Kwon (winner of Survivor: Cook Islands) and Eric Byler (director of Charlotte Sometimes) traveled to Las Vegas to support the caucus process, volunteer for presidential candidates, and promote Asian Pacific American participation in last Saturday's historic Nevada caucus. Organized by Asian Pacific Americans for Progress (APAP), a national network of progressive Asian Pacific Americans (APA), members came from California, New York, Texas, Illinois, Arizona, Virginia and Washington, DC. The organization and its board members used the latest Internet technologies to assemble the group, recruit volunteers, and engage members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community in the electoral process. The various members worked for the Barack Obama campaign, the Hillary Clinton campaign, and the Nevada State Democratic Party. In total, they:
- made over 2,200 phone calls to Nevada voters
- placed over 2,500 door hangers with caucus information
- distributed over 200 flyers in Chinatown
- volunteered at caucus locations in over 15 precincts
- worked the hotlines in assisting with questions about the caucus
"It was a great chance to participate, being part of the democratic process,” enthused volunteer and student Jenn Fang from Tucson, AZ. “Seeing the excitement of the Asian Pacific American community is truly inspiring.” Volunteers arrived throughout the week, walking the streets and working with the community at large, even with little sleep. APAP Board member Theresa Mah points out, “APAP's involvement shows the growing strength of our community in the political process. We were there with so many other established APA organizations. Beyond civic participation, Asian Pacific Americans are becoming a growing force in this election.” In January, Mah joined a similar, though smaller, APAP contingent to Iowa. APAP volunteers met for an informal debrief on Saturday afternoon where they discussed their experiences and strategies for moving forward. Some of the planned projects include: + The Pipeline Project - to help identify and train talented young APAs to work on campaigns. + On-line training programs in grassroots activism and community organizing through the APAP website, http:www.apaforprogress.org + CAMP (Community Arts Media and Politics) which will draw on the creative talents of APAP members to increase political awareness and promote progressive values in the APA community, as well as educate the general public about the contributions of APAs to political change. Returning from Nevada to their respective homes, the APAP volunteers are energized to promote change in their own communities. “One of the most valuable outcomes of the weekend was the opportunity to take the energy from the weekend and direct it into developing ideas for future events,” noted APAP Board member Ramey Ko.